STRIKE Zone! {And a Graphing Freebie}

This week has been all about graphing!  Our district always puts graphing in the last quarter... so you know when this standard rolls around the end is very near!!

This week students have been working with bar graphs.  There are soooooo many fun ways to collect data and information.... like bowling!

I searched everywhere for those cheap bowling sets, but all of my stores were out.  I was going to use cups and a ball like we suggest in our unit, but I looked for bowling sets anyways.  I've been meaning to pick some up and just never have!  Well, I went to Wal-Mart and they had these little goodies in the Easter section.  I just knew I had to have them for this activity!  And, of course one needs a bunny mask when bowling for carrots!
Students got into bunny teams of three.  They took turns bowling and tallying up the knocked down pins.
These little sets were actually perfect because they were small!
And aren't they just the cutest?!  Who knew one needed a carrot bowling game in their life?  #notme #butnowIknow
  After students finished playing and tallying they took their data back to their seats so they could create their bar graph.
 Partners had to meet back up so that they could answer questions about their Strike Zone graphs!
We have so many interactive, engaging, and hands-on activities like this in our 2nd Grade Data and Graphing unit.  Check out a few of the others:
 Unit 8 includes bar graphs, pictographs, line plots (with measurement), and word problems.
We also include a graphing project where students choose their topic, collect data, organize information, create graphs, and generate questions about their data.  It's a great way to wrap up your graphing unit!
And we've made a super simple (like ZERO prep)... but VERY fun graphing freebie for you!  Do you ever see your kiddos playing Rock, Paper, Scissors around the school?  Well now you can give them a reason to play!  This freebie includes a bar graph, pictograph, and line plot option.  It also has follow-up questions so that students can analyze the data they collect!  You can grab that HERE!
Oh, and click HERE for a post from last year that includes another graphing freebie

Telling Time Activities

Today was all about introducing time.  We started with a large hula hoop clock.  I used Velcro dots so that the numbers can be easily put on and taken off.  I passed out the clock numbers and had students silently arrange the hours on a clock.  They had to work cooperatively without talking.
Then we used yarn to divide the clock into quarters.  We also discussed time vocabulary such as quarter past, half past, quarter to, and o'clock.
We took turns making times, counting around the clock, and reading the times.
Then it was time for the students to practice.  We used laminated clocks and Expo markers to divide our clocks into quarters.  We labeled our clocks and used play-dough to make the hour and minute hands.  We made several times and used our terms to read the times on the clock.
The play-dough helped everyone stay engaged :)
 As they were working with a partner to create times, I put the hula hoop clock on the board so that they could see the visual.
After practicing we played a quick game in partners.  Students rolled the dice to find their hour and used the cards to tell the minutes.  The cards were actually supposed to be a mat to be used as a spinner, but I totally forgot and cut them apart!  We made it work though :)
We regrouped and discussed each type of time that was worked on.  We used this chart to display as a reminder.
To show mastery of the skill, students completed an interactive notebook entry.  They wrote the time to match the analog clock and sorted underneath the correct flap.
 People ask all the time how I check interactive notebooks or give grades.  Since there normally aren't just a ton of problems, it is so easy and quick to check them on the spot.  I have students bring me their spirals, I check off on them, and go from there!
All of these activities are from our 2nd Grade Magic of Math Unit 7.  You can find that HERE!
One last thing... I made up this super simple time chant.  Please excuse everything about what's going on in it... the background, how we look, etc, ha!  I didn't have a chance to record it today so Joelle and I did it after we had been playing outside for several hours!  It's definitely an introductory chant because it doesn't go very deep :)

Main Idea Airways

Today the students became Pilots of the Main Idea Airways!  They have been studying Amelia Earhart with Rooted in Reading March.  Today we took it a little further and incorporated main idea and details.

First up, they made this pilot hat that I found on Etsy from Wow Printables HERE.
Then we read a passage about Amelia Earhart that I found (for free) HERE.  When teaching main idea I like to use books, articles, passages, and anything in between!  It's important for students to know how to state the main idea for the whole text AND for the different portions of the text.
After reading the passage together we filled out our anchor chart and wrote about the main idea and details from the entire passage.
 Then I broke the students into Pilot Crews... which I also called Pirate Crews the majority of the day, ha! The Pilot Crews had to re-read a portion of the text that I assigned and discuss the main idea from just that portion.
Together, they had to form their main idea into a sentence that could be written down on a strip of paper.
 If the pilots successfully completed their Main Idea flight, they were able to make airplanes from clothespins and popsicle sticks!
 I told them these were like Main Idea Airplanes.  The clothespin is like the main idea because it's the MAIN part of the airplane... without it you have NO airplane, just like without the main idea you have NO story!  The popsicle sticks or the wings are like the details that add to the story and give a little more color to our main idea :)  You can find the airplane tutorial HERE.  I used glue dots rather than actual glue so that it would be quick and easy!
And that's a wrap!  I must say that the airplanes and hats were such a hit.  Sometimes it's the little things that make the most difference :)

Black History Month in the Classroom

It is so important to read culturally diverse literature all year long.  It is equally important to learn about important historical figures from many cultures all throughout the year.  We definitely don't want to limit our study of famous African Americans to one month in the spring semester.  However, we do like to take the month of February to dig a little deeper and really focus on Historical Heroes that helped change and mold our country.  Let's take a look at what this may look like in the 2nd grade classroom!

In Rooted in Reading February we have a nonfiction reader that highlights four historical heroes.  Students can use the reader to learn about George Washington Carver, Marian Anderson, Oprah Winfrey, and Thurgood Marshall.  After reading students can also use the QR codes to research information about each person.
I haven't taught Social Studies in over 7 years!!  BUT that doesn't mean we can't integrate holidays and researching with other subjects.  Here students can recall important facts and write down information about each person.
As a class we can also use this chart to discuss each person. 
The chart pieces have been added to Rooted in Reading February.

Reading about Ruby Bridges is always a class favorite because they can make real-life connections to a child that is around their age.  This helps students see that no matter how young you are you can be the change and make a difference.
After reading about Ruby Bridges, the students wrote about her life and the difference she made.
We also take the time to recognize that our differences make us beautiful.  The Crayon Box that Talked is a great book to read about celebrating our differences and how we all come together to make a beautiful world!
These activities come from my Black History Month unit.

Salt in His Shoes is another great read aloud that we used for Rooted in Reading April.  This story about Michael Jordan also highlights the importance of perseverance, practice, and patience!
And of course we always always always take the time to read and learn about MLK!  
You can read THIS post to see how I tied in our learning of MLK with biographies.
I also teamed up with TpT and Vera to talk about some of the activities from this post.  Check that out below:

Fun with Fractions

Do you know what I love?  I love when it's time to go from the headache of regrouping to other math concepts, ha!  Now, don't get me wrong, over the years I have come to really enjoy finding new ways to teach regrouping so that students understand it BUT sometimes it just makes you want to pull your hair out!  Can I get an AMEN?!  When fractions, measurement, and graphs come around I really feel like second graders are in the home stretch!  Let's take a look at some fun, interactive, and engaging fraction activities for 2nd graders.

A lot of what we are doing in 2nd grade is really helping students to grasp the idea of parts of a whole.  We want them to see the different sizes of parts and be able to identify how many parts it takes to equal a whole.  This little apple booklet is a great visual for kiddos.
 One of my favorite things about fractions is there are so many fun ways to create fraction models.  You can make pizzas, ice cream sundaes, gumball machines, and so much more!

For these fraction rainbows students ordered fractions from one-fourth to one and two fourths.  This also enhanced their understanding of going beyond the whole.

Now the BEST thing is that you can incorporate all kinds of hands-on activities and FOOD!  Play-dough is the perfect way to get students working with their hands to model fractions.
Anyone hungry?  Even if we can't bring actual pizza into the classroom we can still have fun with pretend pizzas :)
 If you're mouth isn't watering yet...
 These frosted cookies are everywhere AND they are super soft so it makes for easy cutting.  If your students can't eat them in school just bag 'em up to take home!
Taking it a step further, have students demonstrate what they did with their cookie by making a model with a description.
 It's yummy and cute!
Want even more ideas and fun ways to teach fractions?  We've created a Sample day for both 2nd and 3rd Grades with free printables!  In it you will find fraction ice cream cones, a whole group game, word problem, and interactive notebook entry :)
Know any 3rd grade teachers?!  We've got them covered with four weeks of fraction lesson plans.  Dare them to take the plunge and learn with food, games, and interactive lessons!

I've shared lots of fraction posts in the past.  Check those out HERE!  You'll even find a few freebies along the way :)